In an earlier blog post, I mentioned the self-help book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”
You’ve probably heard of it.
While I haven’t read it, I looked up those famous seven habits out of curiosity, and then wondered what habits work best for me. While I’m sure Steven Covey’s book has helped millions, I can’t help but think it’s useless for me and my own definition of success and accomplishment.
So I made up my own list: The seven habits of a highly-effective Lindsay.
I. Nourish thyself
Eat whole foods. Enjoy the process of making dinner. Grow it or kill it yourself if you can. Enjoy eating a homemade dinner, slowly and with company when possible. When I eat nutritious foods, I’m more energized and ready to take on the tasks of my life.
Run, yoga, bike, hike, cross country ski. Whatever the method, move. “Movement is the essence of life,” Bernd Heinrich said so poetically. If I can’t run or walk each day, my brain turns to mush and I hate everything. When I move, I live well.
Learning is as important to me as breathing. There is not living without learning, exploring and discovering. I have studied life, studied shame and vulnerability and fear and courage and love in order to become my own best self. Without learning, I don’t know where I would be. And I don’t want to learn about what I know or what is comfortable, I seek out the ideas that make me uncomfortable because discomfort is essential for growth.
Give myself the space and quiet to contemplate everything I’ve seen and done and learned. My introverted brain cannot handle a lot of commotion, and I need that tranquility to figure out what I’ve learned means to me and how I can use that knowledge going forward.
V. Courage, empathy and compassion
In a world full of fear, hurt and hate, I must call upon my courage, empathy and compassion to see the good in it. For a most of my life so far, I’ve lived with fear. Fear of not being good enough, fear of failing, fear of living a boring and shallow life. Thankfully, my courage has been just stronger, and I learned to develop my own empathy. I feel with others. I can look at them and understand where they are, and say, “me too.” Because I truly believe we are all more alike where it really counts than we are different, and with courage, empathy and compassion, we can make our own little corner of the world a more peaceful place.
Being independent has always been a part of who I am. But to me, self-reliance is more than independence, it’s the ability to stay authentic in a world that constantly wants to change me or mold me into something else. I don’t want to place my burdens on others. And there is nothing more satisfying than to be able to own your own shit.
VII. Do what you need to
They key to getting shit done and reaching goals is the unsexy work we do every day. There is no glory in this work. And really, we’re quite often going to want to not doing it. It doesn’t matter if you don’t feel like it. You’ll feel better if you tackle a small task today that will set you up for success in the long run. You don’t need to hit a home run, just swing at the damn ball.